ARU delivers an album of powertools, tribal workouts, and sampler sorcery
Industry of Metals review by April Larsen
Category: Writing and Poetry
Written for Foxy Digitalis:
A collaborative release between Aural Resuscitation Unit and Dubuque Strange Music Society (ARU's label), limited to just 42 copies. Perhaps a soundtrack to those old instructional "The Boilermaker Industry and You!" type films, that sounds appropriately as if it was recorded in a machine shop. You can almost smell the exhaust and grease.
Tumbling fuzz, revving and rumbling, alt-tempo snippets of sheet metal in the wind that jar your tooth fillings. Cylinders rattling apart in staccato engines. The first five minutes are fifteen-second loops, slipping through oil slicks and welding sparks into deep house industrial, drag racing rhythms, the drum 'n bass dance of machines.
Alarming, stringy pulse-hammering keeps things from getting too comfortable, looped and then loaded with heavy tribal layers that I find myself headbanging to. Rubberbandy subwoofer bounce with great subtle changes in tone. Crunchy without being too weighty, heavy-handed without dragging, breaking up the pavement jackhammer-style. The depth and precision exhibited in relatively short amounts of time make this album one of the best examples of what this kind of musical noise/noisy music is capable of. This is what Cybertron might sound like, atmosphere and all. The structures aren't crumbling, not yet, but they're certainly vibrating at destructive resonances.
There's a bandsaw interlude, a lathe that lends its high whining voice to the drum beat in thick-aired celebration of the ability to perform such commotion. Jagged metal shavings and pummeling reverb form a weird, very urban grace. The last track is a shrieking vortex that swallows all previous tracks in a spinning chainsaw-toothed maw, grinding and chewing and gulping, rivaling the screwiest jaw-breaking, head-imploding Japanese experimental bands. Even though the shifts are abrupt, all of it coherently belongs together. I really enjoy this album, so much that it's my favorite of 2010 so far. 10/10 -- April Larson (2 June, 2010)